Feel Good Friday: YMCA employee saves life
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- “If you could save a life, why wouldn’t you,” said Ashley Sikes, the aquatics coordinator at the Brooks Family YMCA.
That’s exactly what she did. She saved the life of one patron due to the tools given to her by the Brooks Family YMCA in Charlottesville and the American Red Cross.
As the aquatics coordinator, guests typically don’t see her unless they are in the pool area.
Thankfully, Sikes was there when a guest needed her the most.
“I saw commotion in the corner, and I walked over and just went into automatic mode,” she said.
A guest was running on a treadmill when he suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness.
Sikes immediately gave the guest CPR and an AED shock.
“Now looking back, his doctors have said that that was one of the reasons he survived was that initial AED shock,” added Sikes.
She says the reason she was able to jump into action as quickly as she did was due to her AED and CPR training from the American Red Cross.
“I think it’s really important that everyone is trained, so that there’s someone in proximity to someone having the emergency to help intervene,” said Sikes.
The American Red Cross offers a flexible schedule to be CPR and AED certified, and people can earn that certification in a single day.
“When you look at the issue of cardiac incidents, most cardiac incidents happen at home. So, having someone in your family or in home, who is skilled to provide CPR, first aid, and AED would be the optimal for everyone,” said Bill Brent, the executive director of the American Red Cross Central Virginia.
Sikes and the American Red Cross advise those who are thinking about becoming CPR and AED certified to just do it, as such knowledge could be the reason someone could go back home to their family.
“Your early intervention, you responding first, is what is going to change that person’s life,” said Sikes.
The patron she saved was treated at the University of Virginia Health System and is back attending classes at the YMCA.
To learn more about getting CPR and AED certified through the American Red Cross, click here.